Weight Loss with Friends = Better Results

Written by on January 25, 2017

One of the reasons that the Big Horn Radio Network’s “Losin’ It At Work” competition has continued through the years is that it’s been well-proven that “social dieting” makes weight loss more fun and successful—especially with programs that include elements like the spirit competition, teamwork, encouragement and, of course, gentle peer pressure (you don’t want to mess things up for others, after all). And don’t forget the prizes!

Here are three reasons why it’s a great idea to get healthy in a group, rather than on your own:

1. Teamwork makes weight loss more fun, accountable and successful
In addition to making a group’s weight loss effort more successful, it also makes it a lot more fun as they work together toward a common goal! In fact, not only can losing weight with a team in a competition format make weight-loss easier, but also more likely since there is more accountability—one has a direct stake in the other’s success.
A Brown University study found that team-based weight loss competitions significantly influenced each other’s weight loss, further substantiating the connection between social networks and health behaviors—particularly related to diet and exercise. Lead study author Tricia Leahey remarked, “In our study, weight loss clearly clustered within teams, which suggests that teammates influenced each other, perhaps by providing accountability, setting expectations of weight loss, and providing encouragement and support.”

2. The prize-motivation model can sweeten the deal for everyone
Leading academics have repeatedly found that money (or prizes) enhances weight loss success, making dieters significantly more likely to lose weight. You’d think health and vanity alone would be strong enough motivators for weight loss, but financial incentives provide additional benefits that are critical to success.
A widely cited study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (“JAMA”) found those who have a financial incentive to lose weight were almost five times more likely to reach their target than dieters with no money at stake. You stand to lose something if you fail and you stand to win something significant if you succeed.

3. Studies show weight gain—and loss—is contagious 
In a Harvard study, as published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that social networks play a significant role in the incidence of obesity, including both its proliferation and its remediation. In other words, people with obese partners, other family members and such are more likely to be obese themselves. The researchers also found that “weight-loss interventions that provide peer support—that is, that modify the person’s social network—are more successful than those that do not. People are connected, and so their health is connected.”

So if you’re not currently working with others to get healthy, FIND A BUDDY! Or a group, or a team. The accountability, socialization and “peer pressure” make you more likely to be successful!

– Wendy Corr, Certified Holistic Nutritionist


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